This approach will enable you to enjoy festive meals and help ensure a positive start to the New Year. However, it’s essential to outsmart that stealthy yo-yo diet mindset of “go crazy now, pay later.” Indeed, the holidays are an ideal time to practice the healthy concept of enjoyment in proportion with your wellness goals. The key is awareness. For example:
Set a game plan
Before arriving at holiday events, take the time to visualize the meal, what you want to eat, and how much. You’ll be amazed at the power you gain when you enlist your subconscious mind. Imagine your plate, starring lean protein and veggies, with high fat items playing secondary roles. Decide ahead to eat slowly, chat and socialize, and never go for seconds before your body has a chance to register that you’re full.
Know your triggers
Many people look forward to certain festive treats this time of year, such as pecan pie, mashed potatoes and gravy, or that infamous eggnog cheesecake. Since you may encounter these items only during the holidays, they can act as triggers, causing you to overeat. Negate this by consciously savoring a moderate portion, taking seconds home for the next day if you wish. Filling up on veggies and lean protein first will help ensure you don’t go overboard.
Pick Your Poison
Fit, trim people tend to understand diet trade-offs. If you want it all, you’ll pay for it─in body fat. But if you concentrate on what you prefer, giving something else up in exchange, you come out ahead. Alcohol is a perfect example. Wine, beer, and cocktails are calorie-laden, so if you enjoy them, something else has got to go. Do you swap the Cabernet Sauvignon for dessert? Or, if you want apple pie, maybe you nix bread and butter. You get the idea, right?
Many people eat to excess during the holidays simply because they find it difficult to say no. Enthusiastic hostesses may urge guests to try everything, enjoy second portions, and sample all those “special” desserts. Learning to politely decline is vital for your health and a sleek bod. Express your appreciation of all culinary efforts, but don’t eat more than you’re comfortable with. It’s not worth it!
Compensate with fitness
You’ll be less likely to overeat at special events if you’ve had your morning whey protein shake─given the staying power of high-quality protein. But many people over consume calories at holiday meals, period. So, make sure you keep moving. Plan on a good workout─ideally both weights and cardio─on party day, and at minimum, a brisk 30 minute walk the day after. It will help!
These simple but effective tactics will serve you well─this month, and all year long. Happy celebrating!